Prodrive Racing Australia has finalised its line-up for the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship season.
The Victorian outfit has announced that newly-formed New Zealand team Super Black Racing will form part of the reigning Bathurst 1000-winning team’s four-car line-up, while also confirming that Charlie Schwerkolt’s entry, CS Racing, will partner another outfit – many expect this to be the Walkinshaw Racing stable.
Super Black Racing’s #111 entry (run under a Racing Entitlements Contract being leased from Dick Johnson Racing) will run alongside the #55 The Bottle-O Ford of David Reynolds as Prodrive’s two satellite entries, along with the #5 and #6 Fords of Mark Winterbottom and Chaz Mostert who will continue to run in Pepsi Max Racing colours.
Prodrive Racing Australia – then known as Ford Performance Racing – ran a fifth Ford Falcon as a wildcard entry for Super Black Racing at last year’s Bathurst 1000; the team finished a very impressive eleventh with rookie drivers Ant Pedersen and Andre Heimgartner.
“After we had such a good experience with PRA at Bathurst last year, it was an easy decision to carry on with them this season in a greater capacity,” Super Black Racing team owner Tony Lentino said.
“They have extensive experience across the various facets of the sport and we know they’re going to work incredibly hard to give us the best shot at success.”
The north Auckland-based team has re-signed 19-year-old Heimgartner as their lead driver for the 2015 season in a PRA-prepared Ford Falcon. Heimgartner, like fellow Kiwi Scott McLaughlin, will become one of the youngest ever drivers to earn a full-time berth in Australia’s top touring car championship.
“We’re looking forward to having the Super Black entry as part of our four-car line-up this season and after a successful outing together at Bathurst last year we know the basics are there for a competitive season,” Prodrive team boss Tim Edwards added.
“The team will enjoy all the same resources as our other three entries and we’re sure there will be some good internal rivalry with our Kiwi mates.”
The news also confirms the premature end of PRA’s association with team owner Charlie Schwerkolt, who is expected to take his Racing Entitlements Contract to a partnership with the Walkinshaw Racing stable.
“We had every intention of fulfilling the final year of our agreement but Charlie came to me and asked to be released from his final year,” Edwards added.
“We were reluctant but he has business-related reasons and we’ve reached a mutually agreeable settlement so we are ending our collaboration one year short.”
|Triple 8 Race Engineering||Red Bull Racing Australia||1||Jamie Whincup|
|Holden Racing Team||Holden Racing Team||2||Garth Tander|
|Charlie Schwerkolt Racing (HRT)||TBA||18||Lee Holdsworth|
|Walkinshaw Racing (HRT)||Super Cheap Auto Racing||47||Tim Slade|
|Erebus Motorsport||TBA||4||Ashley Walsh|
|Prodrive Racing Australia||Team Pepsi Max Crew||5||Mark Winterbottom|
|Rod Nash Racing (PRA)||The Bottle-O Racing||55||David Reynolds|
|Super Black Racing (PRA)||Super Black Racing||111||Andre Heimgartner|
|Nissan Motorsport||Jack Daniel’s Racing||7||Todd Kelly|
|Brad Jones Racing||Team BOC||8||Jason Bright|
|Freightliner Racing||14||Fabian Coulthard|
|Britek Motorsport (BJR)||TBA||21||Dale Wood|
|DJR Team Penske||TBA||17||Marcos Ambrose|
|Garry Rogers Motorsport||Wilson Security Racing||33||Scott McLaughlin|
|Tekno Autosports||TEKNO VIP Petfoods||97||Shane van Gisbergen|
|Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||Repair Management Racing||TBA||Nick Percat|
Image via Christian Hartung